We get alot of questions about Google retargeting and how our dealers can best leverage it. This post is a quick primer on how Google Retargeting works, and how it can benefit your car dealership.
How Google Retargeting Works
Google retargeting uses a some custom code on your website to collect visitors in to audiences. Audiences can be defined in almost any way you can setup your dealer website. You could have the audience collection script only on New Vehicles if you wanted to retarget new buyers, or used vehicles, parts and services visitors, basically any area/page of your website can have it’s own audience collection. You can even collect multiple audiences on the same site (Different audiences for New and for Used Cars).
These audiences are persistent, as it works by dropping a cookie on their computer, so Google can remember they belong to your selected audience.
After your audience size reaches a reasonable size, you develop display ads (Graphic ads or Flash ads) specific to the type of audience you collected. If you setup retargeting to collect used car customers, then you want to show them used car ads.
Now that you have an audience and an ad, as your customer browses around the internet, anytime they are served a google display ad (These are everywhere on the internet, Kijiji, TSN, The Edmonton Sun, you name it, it is probably run by Google Display), they see the ad you created for that audience.
Google retargeting is really just persistent advertising for your customers who have been to your site. You can control how long they see your ads, how often they see them, and the content of them. It is a pretty powerful tool for direct advertising to customers who have shown an interest in your product.
Retargeting for Car Dealers
As I mentioned above, you can tailor make your audiences to your departments, which is fairly straightforward, but how can you really drive a customer back to your site to complete a conversion, or better yet, a sale? A few ideas:
- Model Specific Audience Collection. This is alot more involved, but you could tag every <insert your dealer badge here> on your dealer site, new and used and retarget customers with a discount on your on make vehicles.
- Body Type Specific Audience Collection. Also fairly involved but extremely powerful. If your market is bent towards a certain type of vehicle (Alberta = Trucks), you could tag all your New and Used Trucks and serve ads regarding the benefits of buying a new truck from your dealership.
- Service Customers. You could tag customers who Submit a service lead, and offer them upsell work between their conversion and their appointment. Maybe with them having seen 25 flush ads after they already have an appointment, they will be more receptive to the Transmission flush you offer them when they come in.
The possibilites are endless, and like everything, a great retargeting strategy comes down to time, money, and effort. Don’t get started with retargeting if you are not going to properly manage every part of your campaign or don’t have the resources to handle the different aspects of ad creation, audience collection, and so on. You will literally be throwing money away.